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Lunch Lady Brownies

Lunch Lady Brownies are a nostalgic chocolate lover’s dream! This simple, one-bowl dessert produces an incredibly rich, fudgy brownie that’s topped with a decadent homemade chocolate frosting for one incredible sweet treat that will transport you back to your elementary school lunch days!

parchment paper with brownies on it

Rich, fudgey brownies are a huge hit in my household. And while my family and I were enjoying a batch of brownies, my husband and I started reminiscing about those rich homemade brownies that were served in our elementary cafeteria all those years ago.

And I don’t know about you, but my lunch ladies served some delicious food. These hard-working ladies were up before the sun, cooking all the dishes from scratch. Oh, the good ol’ days!

But there was a reason my husband and I both loved those brownies. They were rich, fudgy, and smothered with a luscious, homemade chocolate frosting that was worth waiting in line for. And all these years later, it’s no surprise that this simple, classic recipe is still one people fawn over.

So, when a chocolate brownie craving strikes, whip up a batch of these simple yet deliciously rich Lunch Lady Brownies. All you need is a few basic pantry staples and a few minutes of hands-on prep. The hardest part will be waiting for them to cool before they can be frosted and enjoyed, but oh, the wait will be so worth it!

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labeled picture of lunch lady brownie ingredients

Brownie Layer Ingredients Needed

  • Butter
  • Cocoa powder
  • Granulated sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract

Butter – Feel free to use salted or unsalted room temperature butter. If using unsalted, be sure to add a 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the dry ingredients. The butter will be melted.

Cocoa powder – Be sure to use unsweetened cocoa powder as this allows you to control the amount of sugar in the final product. If you’d like a deeper, richer chocolate flavor in this brownie, use dark chocolate cocoa powder or even a mix of regular and dark.

Flour – Use all purpose flour for this brownie recipe. I have not tested it with flour substitutes like whole wheat or gluten free flours.

Eggs – I like to use large eggs for all my recipes unless otherwise stated. Bring the eggs to room temperature for easier mixing.

labeled picture of frosting ingredients

Ingredients Needed for Frosting

Butter – For the brownies the butter will be melted but for the frosting the butter should be softened to room temperature.

Cocoa Powder – I use the same cocoa powder for both the brownie layer and the frosting.

Powdered Sugar –Also known as confectioners sugar. Feel free to sift the sugar before using but it is not necessary.

Milk – Use your favorite milk, including almond or soy milk. For a richer tasting frosting you can use evaporated milk or heavy cream. I like to use evaporated milk because I always have a can in my pantry.

How to make Lunch Lady Brownies

PREP: Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish with foil or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

ONE: Combine the melted butter and cocoa powder and mix until smooth. Add the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Mix to combine.

TWO: Add the flour and mix gently just until combined. Do not over mix or the brownie layer will be tough.

THREE: Pour the brownie batter into the pan and bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Do not over bake!

FOUR: Prepare the frosting while the brownies are baking. Combine the butter, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar. Mix until combined. Add in the milk and mix until smooth.

FIVE: When the brownies come out of the oven, let cool for 10 minutes before frosting. Gently pour prepared frosting over the warm brownies and spread into an even layer. Let cool completely before cutting.

For the full recipe and detailed baking instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.

frosted brownies in a pan

How to store leftovers

Store any leftover brownies in an airtight container, or cover tightly with plastic wrap or foil, and store them at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Can I freeze the brownies?

These decadent Lunch Lady Brownies can be frozen for up to 3 months when stored in a freezer-safe container.

spatula with a lunch lady brownie

How do I change the consistency of the frosting?

While these Lunch Lady Brownies are topped with a healthy portion of thick homemade chocolate frosting, if it’s too thick for your liking, add one tablespoon of milk at-a-time to thin out until desired consistency is reached.

If the frosting is too thin (which I don’t think it will be!), but add more powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, until you get the consistency you want.

Can I change up the frosting?

While this thick chocolate frosting is delicious on these brownies, feel free to replace it with a different flavor! Try topping with a homemade vanilla or peanut butter frosting for a fun twist on this traditional recipe.

stack of lunch lady brownies

Tips for No Leftovers

  • If you’re running short on time, feel free to frost these simple brownies with your favorite premade store-bought frosting
  • Feel free to add in chocolate chips for another depth of chocolate or chopped nuts for a subtle crunch
  • Line your baking dish with parchment paper before pouring in the batter to allow for easy removal for easier cutting once the brownies have cooled.
  • Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate dessert
  • Be sure to let the brownies cool completely before frosting them or it will melt.
  • If you want a richer frosting, you can use heavy cream instead of milk.
  • You can mix in a stand mixer or use a hand mixer.
  • Measure the flour by fluffing it with a fork or spoon, spoon the flour into a measuring cup (don’t pack down), level with knife and then add to recipe.
  • Add sprinkles for a bit of fun!

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

brownie with bite taken out of it on a white plate

This Lunch Lady Brownie recipe is a nostalgic dessert simple to make and full of rich, decadent chocolate flavor. This easy dessert is ready in just 30-minutes and a perfect treat to whip up and turns out perfect whenever a chocolate craving strikes!

More Easy Desserts

Printable Recipe Card

brownie on parchment paper

Lunch Lady Brownies

Yield: 24 brownies
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Lunch Lady Brownies are a nostalgic chocolate lover's dream!


Brownie Layer

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 tablespoons evaporated milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with either aluminum foil or parchment paper. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Prepare the Brownies

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cocoa powder and melted butter. Stir until smooth.
  2. Add the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  3. Gently fold in the flour and mix just until the batter comes together. Do not over mix or the brownies will be tough.
  4. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until the middle is just set and a toothpick comes out clean with maybe a crumb or two. You don't want to over bake the brownies or they will be dry.
  5. Remove from the oven when done and let cool for 10 minutes.

Prepare the Frosting

  1. While the brownies are baking prepare the frosting. You can use the same bowl as the brownie batter!
  2. Mix together the softened butter, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar.
  3. Stir in the evaporated milk until the frosting is smooth.

Frost the Brownies

  1. When the 10 minutes of cooling time is up, spread the frosting in a single even layer over the brownies. I like to us an off set spatula.
  2. The frosting will "melt" onto the brownies and form and nice crust on top.
  3. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.


*If you love this recipe as much as I do, please leave me a comment and rate it 5 stars. Thank you!

Recommended Products

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy here.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 brownie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 269Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 17mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 31gProtein: 3g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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